Raleigh, N.C. — Thousands gathered in downtown Raleigh Friday afternoon for the opening of the new wing at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. The Nature Research Center will be an interactive, immersive experience for the Citizen Scientist, employing high-tech to bring scientific research to the level of the average person.
A 24-hour celebration started Friday at 5 p.m. to welcome visitors to the four-story, 80,000-square-foot center.
Outside, a 70-foot-diameter globe – the SECU Daily Planet – dominates the streetscape. Inside, visitors will find more than 100 interactive exhibits on everything from weather to undersea exploration to DNA testing.
Meg Lowman, director of the new wing, encouraged visitors to explore in the Nature Research Center's opening weekend.
"Everything will be open, including the green roof, so don't miss going up to the top," she said. "That's really awesome. There will be telescopes out there and lots to see from top to bottom."
Visitors can take a break at the Daily Planet Café to enjoy North Carolina draft beers, North Carolina wines and food sourced from North Carolina ingredients.